12 Activity Recycling Ideas

12 Activity Recycling Ideas

User Profile By Del Mcalister   Australia

Found In: Activities World Environment Day

I love scouring local op shops and garage sales for items that may be of use in my role as a recreational activities officer. Recycling is not only good for the environment, but provides the materials for interesting and enjoyable activities for our residents.
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I love scouring local op shops and garage sales for items that may be of use in my role as a recreational activities officer.

I also look around my home to see what can be re-used.

Recycling is not only good for the environment, but provides the materials for interesting and enjoyable activities for our residents.

Here are 12 Recycling Ideas:


1. Reminiscing boxes: Garage sales and op shops / charity shops are the best places to find items that are familiar to our residents. Items such as aprons, doilies, old clocks, keys, postcards, radios etc. can be kept in a reminiscing box for residents to look at and touch or reminisce about during discussion sessions. You may also create themed reminiscing boxes for individual residents.


2. Books: Specialty books are affordable in second hand bookstores. Books published with a hobby, goal or passion in mind such as books on the subjects of Railways, Military, Trees, Aviation, Buildings, History, and more. You never know what will spark the interest of residents.


3. Crazy hats: We love our crazy hat days. Most of these hats are secondhand, and individually decorated by our residents. Our residents and staff enjoy posing for pictures whilst wearing these hats. It's a sure way of putting smiles on faces!


4. Calendars: As the new year dawned I asked for old calendars from members of several local communities. I was inundated with them! The suitable ones were pulled apart and the pages were laminated to be used as discussion cards. The residents love the pictures of old cars, flowers and fluffy cats. Other ones were used for our themed boards that we decorate for special occasions.


5. Christmas and birthday cards: We ask friends and family for their old unwanted cards. It's amazing how many we've accumulated. We use them for art and craft activities, and for sorting tasks.


6. Magazines: Members of our community drop off magazines after they've read them. Our residents enjoy reading/cutting them; they are also used for for crafts such as collages, card and posters making.


7. Buttons: Tins of buttons provide a sorting activity. They can also be used to decorate picture frames. There are loads of other great button craft ideas on Pinterest.


8. Leftover fabric: These can be used for making small lavender pillows, and tissue holders. Larger bits can be used to make wheelie walker bags, and stuffed toys or dolls clothing.


9. Leftover lace: Bits of old lace can be used for bookmark and card making, and can be added to dolls clothing made with bits of leftover fabric.


10. Scarves: In a recycled basket is a selection of colourful women's scarves in a variety of fabrics. Also found in charity shops and garage sales, wash them up and add to the collection. Some women get much pleasure out of touching them and folding them. They can also be used to wave around in time to music and included in exercise routines.


11. Picture frames: Op shops usually have lots of these. Just take out the original picture and use the frames to frame for artwork/posters ! You can then start your own art gallery with very little financial outlay!


12. Paper offcuts: A friend who works in a printing company gave us lots of offcuts of paper and cardboard for our craft, bookmark and card making activities. Why don't you visit a printing company in your area and see what they can offer?


Recycling is good for the environment… and your budget!

One of the benefits of recycling is the positive impact it has on the budget.

When you can buy something for next-to-nothing, there's more money in the kitty for other items!

I am sure you can think of many more ideas. Why don't you share them in the comments below? Let's do our bit for the environment whilst having fun at the same time.

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Del Mcalister

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David 30th Jul 2017 Retired Headteacher
Contact a local shop that sells wallpaper as they are often happy to give sample books away at the end of the season (usually twice a year).
Use the paper to cover boxes, as backing for displays and there's a whole lot of scope for art activities throughout the year..
Talita 31st Jul 2017
oh that's a good idea David!
Talita 30th Apr 2017
Great ideas! Thanks Raelene and Shelley - if you have any photos to share we'd love to see.
Shelley 30th Apr 2017 Music therapist
I also like to use older books. as altered journals in my creative arts groups. Using matte medium and gesso to prepare the pages, it gives a new surface for creative art, and journaling. This private book then looks like any other book on their bookshelf and is "hidden" from view from others.
Raelene 25th Apr 2017 Diversional Therapist
Paper Mosaic Art

All/any pieces of paper
A photocopy of design (e.g. owl)
Materials: glue stick, scissors, assorted paper, copy of object to work on
Del 24th Apr 2017 activities officer
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